Project SHINE (Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders) offers Hamilton students the opportunity to help the local community by working together with refugees and immigrants. Student participants work one-on-one or in small groups with adult learners in English classes at the Utica Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) ACCESS Site and the Adult Learning Center at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR). While Hamilton students provide a much needed service to the Utica area, many find that they learn just as much as they teach. Students generally participate in Project SHINE through an academic course, though students who have participated in project SHINE through a course are allowed to volunteer in subsequent semesters. Listen to a podcast about refugees in Utica.
In 2004 Project SHINE was brought to Hamilton through the efforts of the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center with support provided by a grant from Temple University's Center for Intergenerational Learning and Learn & Serve America. Here at Hamilton, Project SHINE continues to engage students in the local community, as students, immigrants, and refugees build intercultural and intergenerational relationships.
“Participating in Project Shine made me realize how vulnerable people can be and feel when they do not know the language that everyone around them is speaking. But, that also spoke to the power of language, and how learning new languages can go towards strengthening the global community.”
"SHINE is a great learning experience for tutee as well as Tutor. I worked at BOCES with a man studying for his GED's and learned a lot about how language is learned. I looked forward to going every week and always had fun."
"Project Shine was an incredible way for me to give back to our nearby community while spending time learning about so many different cultures from such kind and warm people."